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Sishen Mine. Credit: Anglo AmericanSishen Mine. Credit: Anglo AmericanAudits

Audits released for first African iron ore mines

Two Anglo American mines are first African iron ore operations audited against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining

Kolomela and Sishen achieve IRMA 75

UPDATED 5 April with recording of 4 April webinar

27 March 2024 – Today the Initiative for Responsible Mining (IRMA) released the audits of Kumba Iron Ore’s Kolomela and Sishen iron ore operations against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. Independent audit firm ERM-CVS assessed both operations at IRMA 75 when measuring their performance against the Standard’s best practice social and environmental criteria. Kumba Iron Ore is an Anglo American subsidiary.

The IRMA 75 achievement level means that ERM-CVS verified that the operations at least substantially met all 40 critical requirements of the IRMA Standard, as well as at least 75% of the Standard’s criteria in each of the four principle areas: social responsibility, environmental responsibility, business integrity and planning for positive legacies. The full audit reports are available on the Kolomela and Sishen audit pages on the IRMA website.

“The information stakeholders need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention.”

“This report demonstrates that mines can point to transparent, independent evaluations of their environmental and social performance,” said Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA. “Through detailed IRMA audit reports, mining companies, communities and companies that purchase mined materials can gain the information they need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention — at specific mines.”

As the IRMA Standard is recognized and adopted around the globe, these audits are first steps in a deepening dialogue between mining companies and those affected by their operations. Because the process is still evolving, IRMA cautions that the initial results should be reviewed and interpreted accordingly.

“These mines began audits during the early COVID years. The timeline was delayed by travel challenges, and then the company’s decision to use the optional corrective action period to make improvements. The public has long awaited opportunity to review the information included here, and we applaud Anglo American for volunteering these mines for audit against such comprehensive criteria.” Ms. Boulanger went on to say, “That said, the IRMA Standard is relatively new for companies that volunteer to be audited, and even our accredited auditors are still learning. The same is true for community members and workers who are interviewed as part of the process, some of whom may not yet feel comfortable engaging. So, the Amandelbult and Mototolo audits need to be read with this in mind.”

The report also provides an honest accounting of IRMA’s own progress as the Standard and assessment process continue to mature.

“If the results don’t fully reflect the experience of communities, Indigenous rights holders or other affected groups, we want to hear from them,” Ms. Boulanger said. “We’ll help them communicate with the company to better understand its performance, and with the auditors on any issues they feel were overlooked in the review. This is a cornerstone of our own commitment to transparency. We invite anyone who has criticisms of our work to join us in making it better. Finding ways to improve is built into our system — and a measure of its success.”

The IRMA Standard is being updated in 2024; input on how to improve the IRMA Standard is welcomed. Chapters in the IRMA Standard include requirements on protection to human rights, water resources, worker health and safety, biodiversity, Indigenous free, prior, informed consent and more.

“Committing to an IRMA audit reflects our desire to improve and our openness to dialogue”

Mpumi Zikalala, Chief Executive for Kumba Iron Ore said, “Our achievement of IRMA 75 for Kolomela and Sishen mines is testament to the hard work of our teams. The result is informed by evidence from a diverse range of stakeholders including employees, governments, NGOs, and communities alike. This invaluable input will drive our ongoing efforts to enhance sustainability performance. Achieving excellent results in IRMA audits serves as recognition and proof of our commitment to high standards, best practices, transparency and assurance.”

Including Kolomela and Sishen, 19 industrial-scale mines worldwide are within the IRMA independent assessment system. After an initial self-assessment, a participating mine engages a third-party audit firm — trained and approved by IRMA — to conduct a detailed independent evaluation, including on-site visits to the mine and nearby communities. Following the release of the initial audit, a shorter surveillance audit checks on the mine’s performance. Three years after the initial audit, the operation is fully audited again (Note: The first mines audited in the IRMA system have had extensions to this timeline due to Covid delays and launch-phase learning; updated full reviews will be required to maintain or increase achievement scores.)

The independent IRMA system is the only global mining standard that provides equal power to the public sector (communities and Indigenous rights holders, mine workers, and environmental and human rights advocates) alongside the private sector (mining companies, mined materials purchasers and investors).


Apr 4th Webinar Q&A

For More Information:

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Panelists at IRMA Breakfast Side Event. Photo: IndustriALL Global UnionPanelists at IRMA Breakfast Side Event. Photo: IndustriALL Global UnionAfrica

IRMA at Mining Indaba and Alternative Mining Indaba 2024

This February three members of the IRMA Secretariat participated in events in Cape Town at and around the Investing in African Mining Indaba and Alternative Mining Indaba. This was IRMA’s largest delegation to Indaba to date, an indication of the growing importance of these gatherings and the wide range of associated side events to IRMA’s mission and accountability across stakeholder sectors.

IRMA led a breakfast side event that incorporated opportunities for cross-sector sharing and featured a panel of Syrah Resources’ Agnaldo Laice, IRMA’s Kristi Disney Bruckner and Scott Sellwood, IRMA Board Member and IndustriALL Global Union’s Glen Mpufane, Anglo American’s Mahlogonolo Rangata, Mercedes Benz’s Johannes Danz, and Earthworks’ Vuyisile Ncube.

IndustriaLL Global Union members at IRMA breakfast. Credit: IndustriALL
IndustriaLL Global Union members at IRMA Mining Indaba breakfast.
Credit: IndustriALL

IRMA also partnered with IRMA-member Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) to host an interactive discussion at Alternative Mining Indaba on the role of standards and third-party assurance in promoting environmental and social governance. The discussion focused on how affected communities, NGOs, and organized labor have used the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining and IRMA audit reports, with small group discussions on the types of tools and strategies that would help participants make use of IRMA to protect their rights.

Davidzo Muchawaya, IRMA Regional Lead, Africa, introducing IRMA at IRMA/ZELA Alternative Mining Indaba Session
Davidzo Muchawaya, IRMA Regional Lead, Africa, introducing IRMA at IRMA/ZELA Alternative Mining Indaba Session

This year, joining long-standing participation from mining companies, the presence of purchasing companies was more prominent at Indaba, including multiple members of the IRMA Buyer’s Group calling for more responsible mineral supply chains and engagement in IRMA.

IRMA attended a wide range of events and held meetings with government, company, investor, purchasing company, civil society, and labor representatives. Indaba and Alternative Mining Indaba continue to be important forums for sharing IRMA’s value and deepening our accountability across sectors. We look forward to engaging in these important forums again in 2025!

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Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson-CCBY2.0Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson-CCBY2.0Standards

ISO, responsible mining, and multi-stakeholder engagement

As the ISO takes on important work on responsible mining, IRMA restates the importance of inclusive and meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement

On 15-16 February 2024 in Tokyo, Japan, IRMA participated in the first working session of the ISO IWA 45, an international working agreement on “sustainable critical mineral supply chains.” This project is led by Standards Australia (Australia’s national standardization body) under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and is tasked to “understand the range of sustainability tools/guides/frameworks available which will assist in improving an organization’s sustainability outcomes.” ISO is a quasi-governmental organization dedicated to standard development, headquartered in Switzerland and composed of the national standards bodies of its member countries.

This workshop was an in-person-only event which, while providing constructive opportunity for people to connect directly, dramatically reduced the number and diversity of stakeholders affected by mining and mineral value chains to participate. There were about 45 participants, with a majority from industry (mining and mineral processing) and consultants to the private sector, followed by government delegations (including national standardization bodies and state agencies or research institutions). The most represented countries were the United States, Canada, China, and Japan.

Articulating the perspectives of our members from six houses—affected communities, downstream purchasers, investment and finance, mining industry, NGOs, and organized labor—IRMA worked actively in the session to integrate the perspectives of civil society and organized labor, as those groups were not in attendance. We are concerned about how their absence might leave a significant gap in this process and encourage the event organizers to increase this outreach.

The working session opened with a summary of the results obtained from a preliminary survey circulated by Standards Australia in January 2024. Of the 115 full responses received, two-thirds came from the mining and mineral processing industry, 7% from NGOs, and 7% from academia. Most of the responses originated from China and Canada (over 10%), followed by the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Germany, South Africa, and Sweden; other countries were all under 3%.

Given the survey feedback was foremost from industry, the main insights shared by the workshop organizer reflected the positions of industry representatives who engaged in the survey, including the “proliferation,” “overlap,” and “inefficiency” of sustainability standards, the “confusion” they would create, and the “burden” created by assurance mechanisms that would be “significant, costly, and time-consuming”.

It is worth noting that IRMA has never heard civil society or mine workers complain that “assurance processes are too expensive,” but rather that they see need for increased investment in transparent sharing of information on performance and for improved practices. We hope that Standards Australia will be able to soon provide a breakdown of the responses by stakeholder groups and increase outreach to civil society, Indigenous rights holders, and labor leaders.

IRMA emphasized throughout the workshop the importance of inclusive and meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement for ISO to ensure robustness and credibility in its processes and its efforts to standardize responsible business practice. A number of other participants similarly asked for more proactive and targeted outreach to all stakeholder groups. The issue of inclusive and meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement was then selected by the organizer as the final topic for plenary discussion.

As currently designed, IWA and ISO processes, including IWA 45, are not inclusive for affected communities, NGOs, and organized labor, and do not allow for meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement. We ask that this fundamental gap be identified as the top priority in the final report that will be produced by Standards Australia this year, including as a key recommendation to inform the other ongoing ISO committees and workstreams on responsible mining and sustainable mineral value chains.

 

Photo credit: Dick Thomas Johnson CCBY2.0

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Amandelbult PGM Complex. Credit: Anglo AmericanAmandelbult PGM Complex. Credit: Anglo AmericanAudits

Audits released for Anglo’s Amandelbult, Mototolo, Unki

Two Anglo American mines are first South African operations audited against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining

Amandelbult and Mototolo achieve IRMA 50 and IRMA 75, respectively

UPDATE 28 Feb: Watch the audit report release webinar recording

16 Feb 2024 – Today the Initiative for Responsible Mining (IRMA) released the audits of Anglo American’s Amandelbult and Mototolo PGM operations against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. Independent audit firm ERM-CVS assessed Amandelbult at IRMA 50 and Mototolo at IRMA 75 when measuring their performance against the Standard’s best practice social and environmental criteria.

IRMA also released the surveillance (interim) audit for Anglo’s Unki PGM operation in Zimbabwe, as conducted by audit firm SCS Global. In 2021, Unki achieved IRMA 75 in IRMA’s first-ever on-site audit; a surveillance audit is a more limited check-in, so it does not result in further detailed scoring but rather provides updates on performance.

IRMA 50 or 75 means that ERM-CVS verified that the operations at least substantially met all 40 critical requirements of the IRMA Standard, as well as at least 50 or 75% of the Standard’s criteria in each of the four principle areas: social responsibility, environmental responsibility, business integrity and planning for positive legacies. The full audit reports are available on the Amandelbult and Mototolo audit pages, as well as Unki’s surveillance report, on the IRMA website.

“The information stakeholders need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention.”

“This report demonstrates that mines can point to transparent, independent evaluations of their environmental and social performance,” said Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA. “Through detailed IRMA audit reports, mining companies, communities and companies that purchase mined materials can gain the information they need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention — at specific mines.”

As the IRMA Standard is recognized and adopted around the globe, these audits are first steps in a deepening dialogue between mining companies and those affected by their operations. Because the process is still evolving, IRMA cautions that the initial results should be reviewed and interpreted accordingly.

“These mines began audits during the early Covid years. The timeline was delayed by travel challenges, and then the company’s decision to use the optional corrective action period to make improvements. The public has long awaited opportunity to review the information included here, and we applaud Anglo American for volunteering these mines for audit against such comprehensive criteria.” Ms. Boulanger went on to say, “That said, the IRMA Standard is relatively new for companies that volunteer to be audited, and even our accredited auditors are still learning. The same is true for community members and workers who are interviewed as part of the process, some of whom may not yet feel comfortable engaging. So, the Amandelbult and Mototolo audits need to be read with this in mind.”

The report also provides an honest accounting of IRMA’s own progress as the Standard and assessment process continue to mature.

“If the results don’t fully reflect the experience of communities, Indigenous rights holders or other affected groups, we want to hear from them,” Ms. Boulanger said. “We’ll help them communicate with the company to better understand its performance, and with the auditors on any issues they feel were overlooked in the review. This is a cornerstone of our own commitment to transparency. We invite anyone who has criticisms of our work to join us in making it better. Finding ways to improve is built into our system — and a measure of its success.”

The IRMA Standard is being updated in 2024; input on how to improve the IRMA Standard is welcomed. Chapters in the IRMA Standard include requirements on protection to human rights, water resources, worker health and safety, biodiversity, Indigenous free, prior, informed consent and more.

“Committing to an IRMA audit reflects our desire to improve and our openness to dialogue”

Craig Miller, CEO of Anglo American Platinum said, “This significant milestone at Mototolo and Amandelbult mines in our overall adoption of IRMA enables us to promote transparency and best practice in sustainability, while adding value to our global customers by helping them to meet increasing expectations for responsibly mined materials in an efficient and credible way. With Unki mine achieving IRMA 75 in 2021, and now the achievements of Mototolo with IRMA 75 and Amandelbult with IRMA 50, we are continuing to make great progress towards our sustainable mining plan target of having all our mining operations assured against a recognised responsible mining standard by 2025.”

Including Amandelbult, Mototolo and Unki, 19 industrial-scale mines worldwide are within the IRMA independent assessment system. After an initial self-assessment, a participating mine engages a third-party audit firm — trained and approved by IRMA — to conduct a detailed independent evaluation, including on-site visits to the mine and nearby communities. Following the release of the initial audit, a shorter surveillance audit checks on the mine’s performance. Three years after the initial audit, the operation is fully audited again (Note: The first mines audited in the IRMA system have had extensions to this timeline due to Covid delays and launch-phase learning; updated full reviews will be required to maintain or increase achievement scores.)

The independent IRMA system is the only global mining standard that provides equal power to the public sector (communities and Indigenous rights holders, mine workers, and environmental and human rights advocates) alongside the private sector (mining companies, mined materials purchasers and investors).

Feb 27th Webinar Q&A

  • Speakers:
    IRMA Executive Director Aimee Boulanger,
    IRMA Africa Regional Lead Davidzo Muchawaya,
    IRMA Assurance Director Michelle Smith, and
    Anglo American Platinum Head of Sustainability Stephen Bullock
  • IRMA slides: http://responsiblemining.net/IRMAAmandelbultMototoloUnkiSlides
  • Anglo American slides: http://responsiblemining.net/AngloAmandelbultMototoloUnkiSlides


For More Information:

  • Alan Septoff, +1.301.202.1445, aseptoff@responsiblemining.net
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Barro Alto. Credit: Anglo AmericanBarro Alto. Credit: Anglo AmericanAudits

Audits released for Anglo’s Barro Alto, Minas-Rio

Anglo American’s Barro Alto, Minas-Rio operations in Brazil audited against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining

First nickel, iron mines to complete IRMA audits, both Barro Alto and Minas-Rio achieve IRMA 75

UPDATE 14 Feb: Webinar recording in English and Português added.

IRMA 75 achievement badge

07 Feb 2024 – Today the Initiative for Responsible Mining (IRMA) released the results of independent audits of Anglo American’s Barro Alto nickel and Minas-Rio iron ore operations against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining. The mines achieved IRMA 75 when two independent audit firms measured their performance on concrete social and environmental impact criteria.

IRMA oversees the only independent, comprehensive process for assessing individual mines’ performance against an equally governed, consensus-based standard — and for measuring their subsequent progress in reducing social and environmental harm. The rigorous IRMA process invites all those currently or potentially affected by a mine to share their experiences and perspectives with the auditing team.

The independent IRMA system is the only global mining standard that provides equal power to the public sector (communities and Indigenous rights holders, mine workers, and environmental and human rights advocates) alongside the private sector (mining companies, mined materials purchasers and investors).

Barro Alto and Minas-Rio join 17 other industrial-scale mines worldwide that are independently assessing against the IRMA Standard. After an initial self-assessment, a participating mine engages a third-party audit firm — trained and approved by IRMA — to conduct a detailed independent evaluation, including on-site visits to the mine and nearby communities.

IRMA 75 means the audit firms ERM-CVS (Barro Alto) and SCS Global (Minas-Rio) verified that the operations met all critical requirements of the IRMA Standard, as well as at least 75% of the Standard’s criteria in each of the four areas: social responsibility, environmental responsibility, business integrity and planning for positive legacies. The full audit reports are available in Results tab of the Barro Alto and Minas-Rio audit pages on the IRMA website.

“The information stakeholders need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention.”

“This report demonstrates that mines supplying materials essential to the renewable energy transition and the steel supply chain can now point to transparent, independent evaluations of their environmental and social performance,” said Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of IRMA. “Through detailed IRMA audit reports, mining companies, communities and companies that purchase mined materials can gain the information they need to decide what’s going well — and what may require more attention — at specific mines.”

As the IRMA Standard is recognized and adopted around the globe, these audits are just the first steps in a deepening dialogue between mining companies and those affected by their operations. And because the process is still evolving, IRMA cautions that the initial results should be reviewed and interpreted accordingly.

“These mines began audits during the early Covid years. The timeline was delayed by travel challenges, and then the company’s decision to use the optional corrective action period to make improvements. The public has long awaited opportunity to review the information included here, and we applaud Anglo American for volunteering the first iron and nickel mines for audit against such comprehensive criteria.” Ms. Boulanger went on to say, “That said, the IRMA Standard is relatively new for companies that volunteer to be audited, and even our accredited auditors are still learning. The same is true for community members and workers who are interviewed as part of the process, some of whom may not yet feel comfortable engaging. So the Barro Alto and Minas-Rio audit reports need to be read with this in mind.”

The report also provides an honest accounting of IRMA’s own progress as the Standard and assessment process continue to mature.

“If the results don’t fully reflect the experience of communities, Indigenous rights holders or other affected groups, we want to hear from them,” Ms. Boulanger said. “We’ll help them communicate with the company to better understand its performance, and with the auditors on any issues they feel were overlooked in the review. This is a cornerstone of our own commitment to transparency. We invite anyone who has criticisms of our work to join us in making it better. Finding ways to improve is built into our system — and a measure of its success.”

The IRMA Standard is being updated in 2024; input on how to improve the IRMA Standard is welcomed. Chapters in the IRMA Standard include requirements on protection to human rights, water resources, worker health and safety, biodiversity, Indigenous free, prior, informed consent and more.

“Committing to an IRMA audit reflects our desire to improve and our openness to dialogue”

Ana Sanches, CEO of Anglo American in Brazil, said: “Anglo American’s achievement of IRMA 75 is a first for a nickel and an iron ore mine and is a testament to the hard work of our teams at Barro Alto and Minas-Rio. Participating in IRMA audits for our operations serve as recognition and proof of our commitment to high standard best practice, transparency and assurance, while it also provides independently verified next steps for further improvement. This transparent positive-feedback loop ensures we continue to improve our sustainability practices, leads to better ways to do business and creates greater value for employees, governments, NGOs, customers and communities alike.

Feb 8th Webinar Q&A – slides

Português – Webinar IRMA sobre relatórios de auditoria de Barro Alto/Minas-Rio

English – IRMA webinar re Barro Alto/Minas-Rio audit reports

 For More Information:

 

 

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Audits

ArcelorMittal commits Andrade operation to IRMA audit

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce that ArcelorMittal has committed to the third-party independent assessment of its Andrade iron operation in Brasil’s State of Minas Gerais against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining.

SCS Global, an IRMA-approved independent audit firm, will be carrying out the assessment, which includes a desk review (stage 1) followed by an onsite audit (stage 2). After the SCS draft audit report is reviewed by IRMA and ArcelorMittal, the company may release the report or has the option to take up to twelve months to implement corrective actions and be re-assessed before a final report is published and a Performance Level assigned.

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Interested stakeholders and members of the public can sign up to receive updates about the Andrade independent assessment (e.g., the timing of the stage 2 onsite visit, link to public summary of audit results). The Mines Under Assessment page of IRMA’s website will also provide up-to-date information on all assessments.

Members of the community, public officials, representatives of the workforce, or other organizations are invited to submit comments regarding how the mine site is managing their impacts to the environment including air, water, waste, greenhouse gases, and ecosystems; how the mine supports their workforce; and how the mine interacts with the surrounding community, and how it impacts the community, positively or negatively.

Interested parties may contact the independent audit firm, SCS Global, to share comments or to ask to be interviewed as part of the audit process. The audit firm can be reached via its webform.

Please share this announcement, and feel free to contact SCS Global directly to provide names and contact information for other Andrade stakeholders who may be interested in knowing about and participating in the mine site assessment process.

For more information

  • For general information on the IRMA mine site assessment process, visit the IRMA website.
  • IRMA: ArcelorMittal Andrade Mine independent assessment status page
  • If you would like more information on how the audit of the Andrade operations are conducted against the IRMA standard — contact IRMA’s Director of Assurance: Michelle Smith, msmith@responsiblemining.net
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Balama Graphite operation in Mozambique. Credit: Syrah ResourcesBalama Graphite operation in Mozambique. Credit: Syrah ResourcesAudits

On-site audit announced for Syrah’s Balama mine

Feedback requested during the on-site, independent audit under the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining of Syrah’s Balama Graphite Operation, Balama District, Mozambique

This coming January and February, SCS Global Services (SCS) auditors will be conducting on-site third-party, independent audit of Syrah’s Balama Graphite Operation to evaluate its performance under the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining.

The audit began in September 2023 with a desktop review of documents provided by the mine. This next on-site phase provides all affected stakeholders the opportunity to give feedback on the mine’s environmental, health, safety, and community performance. Feedback is welcome from December 15, 2023 until February 15, 2024.

During the on-site part of the audit the auditors will ask local stakeholders, including community members and organizations, public officials, and non-management mine workers to participate in interviews or meetings, or to provide information using other means including email or on-line. SCS will use stakeholder comments to help determine how Balama Graphite Operation performs relative to the IRMA Standard.

Please contact SCS if you would like to provide your views. You can do so by interview or in writing. Interviews can take place in person, or virtually (telephone or videoconference), until February 15th. Use the links, QR code, or email below to contact SCS to request an interview, ask questions, or provide comments. Commenters’ identities and remarks are kept confidential upon request.

Online Comment Form or Email Scan QR Code to Comment
https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irma-public-announcements-and-stakeholder-feedback

https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irma-stakeholder-feedback

feedback@scsglobalservices.com

QR code for SCS-IRMA-feedback

IRMA will publish the completed audit report at https://responsiblemining.net. The report will explain how SCS scored the mine site against the requirements of the 26 chapters of the IRMA Standard, and why. SCS will assign scores for each chapter. After the report is published, stakeholders may still comment on the mine’s performance to help guide the operation’s improvement as it moves through the IRMA 3-year audit cycle.

You can also view a pdf of this announcement in Portuguese and English.

SCS is an IRMA-approved audit firm with head offices in Emeryville, California. For more information about SCS, please visit www.scsglobalservices.com.

The IRMA Standard is the world’s most comprehensive mining standard for industrial-scale mines and the only one equally governed by all stakeholders: mining companies, mineral purchasers, investors, organized labor, communities, and civil society NGOs. Mine site verification under the IRMA Standard is voluntary. For more information on the IRMA Standard requirements and certification, visit www.responsiblemining.net.

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GCO operation. Credit: ErametGCO operation. Credit: ErametAudits

On-site audit announced for Eramet’s GCO

Feedback requested during the on-site, independent audit under the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining of Eramet’s Grande Côte Operations (GCO), Departments of Tivaouane (Thies Region) and Kébémer (Louga Region) Senegal

This coming January, SCS Global Services (SCS) auditors will be on-site as part of the ongoing third-party, independent audit of Eramet’s Grande Côte Operations (GCO) mineral sands operation to evaluate its performance under the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Standard for Responsible Mining.

The audit began in May 2023 with a desktop review of documents provided by the mine. This next on-site phase provides all affected stakeholders the opportunity to give feedback on the mine’s environmental, health, safety, and community performance.

During the on-site part of the audit the auditors will ask local stakeholders, including community members and organizations, public officials, and non-management mine workers to participate in interviews or meetings, or to provide information using other means including email or on-line. SCS will use stakeholder comments to help determine how GCO performs relative to the IRMA Standard.

Please contact SCS if you would like to provide your views. You can do so by interview or in writing. Interviews can take place in person, or virtually (telephone or videoconference). Use the links, QR code, or email below to contact SCS to request an interview, ask questions, or provide comments. Commenters’ identities and remarks are kept confidential upon request.

Online Comment Form or Email Scan QR Code to Comment
https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irma-public-announcements-and-stakeholder-feedback

https://info.scsglobalservices.com/irma-stakeholder-feedback

feedback@scsglobalservices.com

QR code for SCS-IRMA-feedback

IRMA will publish the completed audit report at https://responsiblemining.net. The report will explain how SCS scored the mine site against the requirements of the 26 chapters of the IRMA Standard, and why. SCS will assign scores for each chapter. After the report is published, stakeholders may still comment on the mine’s performance to help guide the operation’s improvement as it moves through the IRMA 3-year audit cycle.

You can also view this document as pdf in English or French.

SCS is an IRMA-approved audit firm with head offices in Emeryville, California. For more information about SCS, please visit www.scsglobalservices.com.

The IRMA Standard is the world’s most comprehensive mining standard for industrial-scale mines and the only one equally governed by all stakeholders: mining companies, mineral purchasers, investors, organized labor, communities, and civil society NGOs. Mine site verification under the IRMA Standard is voluntary. For more information on the IRMA Standard requirements and certification, visit www.responsiblemining.net.

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Audits

Sibanye-Stillwater commits two operations to IRMA audit

The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) is pleased to announce that Sibanye-Stillwater has committed to third-party independent assessments of two of its platinum group metals (PGM) operations against the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining: the Sibanye-Stillwater SA PGM Rustenburg Operations and the US (PGM) Operations. SA PGM Rustenburg Operations is located in the North West Province of South Africa and the US PGM Operations in the state of Montana.

ERM-CVS, an IRMA-approved independent audit firm, will be carrying out the assessment, which includes a desk review (stage 1) followed by an onsite audit (stage 2). After the ERM-CVS draft audit report is reviewed by IRMA and Sibanye-Stillwater, the company may release the report or has the option to take up to twelve months to implement corrective actions and be re-assessed before a final report is published and a Performance Level assigned.

Stakeholder Engagement in the Assessment

Interested stakeholders and members of the public can sign up to receive updates about the Sibanye-Stillwater independent assessments (e.g., the timing of the stage 2 onsite visit, link to public summary of audit results). The Mines Under Assessment page of IRMA’s website will also provide up-to-date information on all assessments.

Members of the community, public officials, representatives of the workforce, or other organizations are invited to submit comments regarding how the mine site is managing their impacts to the environment including air, water, waste, greenhouse gases, and ecosystems; how the mine supports their workforce; and how the mine interacts with the surrounding community, and how it impacts the community, positively or negatively.

Interested parties may contact the independent audit firm, ERM-CVS, to share comments or to ask to be interviewed as part of the audit process. The audit firm can be reached by email at:

ERM Certification and Verification Services Limited
Email: post@ermcvs.com

Please share this announcement, and feel free to contact ERM-CVS directly to provide names and contact information for other Sibanye-Stillwater stakeholders who may be interested in knowing about and participating in the mine site assessment process.

For more information

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Asia

IRMA Secretariat statement re Kostenko tragedy

Statement of Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), regarding the tragic loss of life of 46 mine workers at ArcelorMittal’s Kostenko mine in Kazakhstan on Saturday, 28 October 2023.

ArcelorMittal has served on IRMA’s Board of Directors since 2015.

The heartbreaking disaster at ArcelorMittal’s Kostenko mine weighs heavily on me, our staff, and IRMA board members. IRMA’s vision is a world where the mining industry respects the human rights and aspirations of affected communities; provides safe, healthy and supportive workplaces; minimizes harm to the environment; and leaves positive legacies. Devastating loss of life, such as has occurred in Kazakhstan, brings into sharp focus the urgency of bringing this vision into reality. At too many mine sites around the world, workers labor under unsafe conditions—and this urgently needs to change. IRMA exists to help create this change.

In coming weeks, IRMA’s labor sector leaders will meet with ArcelorMittal representatives. IRMA, as an organization, won’t take a further stance on this issue until informed by the outcomes of conversations between IndustriALL, USW and ArcelorMittal, as these are the organizations best set to make a recommendation to the IRMA Board of Directors.

IRMA is a system seeking to drive more responsible mining practices around the world, responsive to the values of six governing houses, including labor unions, mining companies, NGOs, affected communities, investors and companies who purchase mined materials. These six houses equally govern IRMA’s multistakeholder system.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those whose lives were lost at this ArcelorMittal mine site. May our work together prevent future losses of life and ensure greater welfare for people and the lands they rely on.

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